Author: Darrell

Post renovates home for veteran and his disabled son

By Henry Howard Andrew Smith had a Father’s Day he’ll remember for quite some time, thanks to American Legion Post 171 in Cripple Creek, Colo. The post led an ambitious effort to return Smith, a disabled Marine veteran and single dad of an 8-year-old special needs child, to his home after mold and other problems made it uninhabitable. “The weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders,” said Smith, who had estimated it would take him at least five years to be able to live in his home again. “I bumped into some people with The American Legion, some really good friends. They stepped in and they told me and my kid that we wouldn’t be out of our home for long. And they were right. It’s not even a year later and we are back in our home. It’s humbling to say the least.” The 10-month transformation included completely redoing all of the plumbing and electrical, adding a back deck overlooking the picturesque town, and building a ramp for Laren, who has muscular dystrophy. “You can’t hear the wind through the walls anymore. You can’t hear the wind through the windows anymore,” Smith said. “I used to be in constant fear of my kid falling down and getting hurt on a nail or something. He was always sick with some sort of respiratory infection. I feel...

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Legion testifies on future of the VA Choice Program

American Legion National Legislative Division Assistant Director Jeff Steele testified before the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on June 7 in Washington, D.C., to comment on the Veterans Choice Program and the future of care in the community. “As Congress is now discovering and as The American Legion has previously testified, costs are skyrocketing beyond all budget predictions as the quest to provide ‘choice’ has overtaken common sense governing,” Steele said in his written testimony. “Following the Phoenix (VA) scandal (in 2014), Congress appropriated $10 billion to help VA address any and all veterans who ended up on off-the-books waitlists that schedulers had developed in an attempt to juggle the overwhelming requests they were receiving for VA care. By committing $10 billion to this new procurement vehicle, Congress ignored all of the established contracting control measures used in VA’s other community care programs.” Steele said the Choice Program is a textbook example of how well intended overregulating can turn into troublesome, unintended consequences. Choice instituted third party administrators, additional eligibility criteria, higher and inconsistent reimbursement rates and a disconnected billing authority. “In addition, the Choice Act mandated VA to issue paper Choice cards to every enrolled veteran that were essentially worthless, wasting millions and millions of dollars on designing, procuring and mailing millions of these cards in 90 days or less,” he said. As part of the Choice legislation,...

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National commander Reschedule Choice hearing immediately

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt issued the following statement following the cancellation of Wednesday’s Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing examining the Department of Veterans Affairs Choice Program and the future of care in the community: “The Choice program is critical to the health care of our veterans,” he said. “We respectfully urge the Senate to immediately reschedule the hearing that was cancelled today. Through their service, America’s veterans have earned the right to receive quality and efficient health care, regardless of where they decide to call...

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Attention Veterans Imposter phone line attempting to access credit card information from Choice Program users

Veterans Choice Program phone number is 1-866-606-8198    About the author:  The Veterans Choice Program submitted this article to VAntage Point. VA is taking action in response to a phone line that appears to be set up to take advantage of Veterans who misdial the Veterans Choice Program phone line. The two phone lines differ only in area code. The correct Choice Program phone line is 1-866-606-8198, while the imposter phone line is using 1-800-606-8198. The fake line does not provide information on the Choice Program or its eligibility criteria, instead it claims to offer callers a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card number. VA would never ask Veterans for this information or offer this type of financial incentive through the Choice Program phone line. This potential attempt to impersonate VA’s Veterans Choice Program phone line is being taken very seriously. VA is acting to ensure Veterans are not exploited by getting the word out and also by working with the Office of Inspector General to take legal action and ultimately shut the fake line down. Veterans can tell if they have reached the correct phone line, if the phone line automatically states the caller has reached the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”  Please note, the fake line will incorrectly confirm callers have reached the “Veterans Choice Program” if the caller asks this question. If Veterans are unsure if they have reached the correct phone line, they should hang up and make sure they dial 1-866-606-8198 correctly. Please...

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Vietnam-era Vets 50th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony

All veterans encouraged to apply to participate in event Originally By: Christy Steadman Revised By: Joel Mendelson, Department of Colorado District 5, Adjutant Darrell Myers, Department Public Relations Chairman and Observer Editor verified all information with Congressmen Perlmutter’s Denver Office on February 17, 2017. Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-7th District, is inviting all Vietnam-era veterans to be honored at a Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Ceremony on March 24. Per information provided on the direct link for the forms site, if you did not sign up before February 15th, the March 24 ceremony is full. But they have added a second ceremony to be conducted on April 7th. The deadline for applying is still March 1, 2017. All Vietnam-era veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are encouraged to participate. The commemoration does not distinguish between veterans who served in-country, in-theater or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period. The deadline to fill out the required application for participation in the event is March 1. 2017 All Vietnam-era veterans in Colorado are eligible to receive the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin, which can be awarded posthumously. For more information or to fill out the application electronically, visit Congressmen Perlmutter Website at www.perlmutter.house.gov.  A direct link to the application is also available: https://form.jotform.com/70095317447155 Additional questions can...

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Recent Tweets

  • Legacy • Vision • Commitment • Team 2016blog.coloradolegion.org/observer-news-…Z3QNOA•-vision-•-commitment-•-team-2016-2017
  • The sink in my VA hospital room...held up with caulking, no bolts...doctor leaned against it and just about fell. https://t.co/xFAf6lLhzI
  • Going from Post 209 to Jr. Shooting. Big thunder storms building over mountains. https://t.co/SCpb8lVFlT
  • Number of participates seem to have dropped off after lunch. https://t.co/UEupUltNo5
  • Past National Commander Tom Bock prepares to begin his session. https://t.co/KX6l8CBY8T